Canada West votes on UBC Okanagan status

Heat athletics department will find out Thursday in Calgary if varsity teams are approved as full members

The UBC Okanagan Heat athletics department will find out this week if it has earned full membership status into the Canada West University Athletics Association.

UBCO requires 75 per cent approval from Canada West’s 13 member schools who will vote Thursday in Calgary on the Kelowna-based institution’s final application.

Athletics director Rob Johnson and assistant Lucia Boersma are in Calgary for the conference’s AGM and made a final presentation on behalf of UBCO on Tuesday.

UBC Okanagan is now at the end of their three-year probationary period for official admission into Canada West.

Four Heats teams—men’s and women’s volleyball and basketball—have competed the last   two seasons in the CIS.

The conference’s executive made one last site visit to UBC Okanagan in March and concluded in a report that the athletic department had met or exceeded expectations in all areas. Johnson

“It’s not over until it’s over, until the vote is taken but we feel like we’ve done everything we can,” said Johnson. “We believe we’ve proved ourselves and that we’re ready for this step, from the competitiveness aspect to our administrative abilities to meet the requirements of Canada West. We’re keen to be contributing members.”

If UBCO athletics is granted final approval Thursday, the way would be paved for Heat soccer teams to join Canada West in the fall of 2014.

With full member status, UBCO would also be allowed to submit applications for more varsity teams in the future, should it choose to do so.

Among local sports organizations waiting in the wings for the possibility of future applications are the Okanagan Sun, who plan to one day field a football team in the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) under the banner of UBC Okanagan.


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